IUMA: David Michael Ross
And the new album suffers from distracting influences, too. On Valentine's Day I started signing up people for a compilation CD-ROM, and have been unable to get back to recording except to finish up the new CD "Guitaro". The compilation CD should be on sale here at IUMA, according to e-mail messages they've sent. Everybody I've talked to says it's a cool idea: put a bunch of compressed audio tracks, like MPEG-2 or MPEG-3, on a disc and make a couple of thousand copies. In this case, I decided to make it an enhanced CD, so you'll hear 11 audio tracks in a standard CD player, and 50 MPEG-2 tracks in your computer. "Browser Barbarians" has 26 artists/bands (including myself in the data side) performing one to four songs each. There are a lot of IUMA performers here, like Ce'Lange, Whipped and Antihistimine DayDream, as well as other people who heard about the project. "Browser" is all rock music, and other styles are being reserved for two more MPEG discs (MPEG-3 this time, which will allow more, and longer CD audio tracks). If you want to check the artist list, or review the artist pages (it's all HTML-driven), check out The DMR Diversions Website. You can also check out the progress of forthcoming MPEG CDs there, and download music from "Guitaro" which isn't included here. And, to lend a little air of credibility, I can tell you that "Browser Barbarians" is slated to be featured in the March issue of "Computers and Music" magazine. "Browser" and "Guitaro" are being sold not only here at IUMA, but at Tower Records, Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles.
"Guitaro" is considerably different than my previous CD "Midnight to Dawn", in the main that there are more vocal tunes. I was working on getting stronger vocals, and was moderately satisfied on that account. All the tracks I'm including here are vocals, and there are only two or three instrumental tracks on "Guitaro".
"Chances Are" was reviewed briefly at the Chicago New Music Festival, at which point the music was described as "B-movie music" by all three panel members (one of whom was not saying so disparigingly). As usual, I throw in a lot of synthesized instruments (mandolin, tenor sax) but I tried to make this a meat-and-potatoes (did I spell that right?) number. A rather hasty reference to the lifestyle of Haitians, which I assure is not intended as an ethnic putdown.
I had most good comments on "The Earth Told Me", which I didn't spend much time composing or recording. I like to think this is a tribute of sorts to CS&N, since it has harmony vocals (all my own) and a save-the-earth flavor. Micah Solomon at Oasis liked it enough to include it on his sampler which he sends to radio, and I submitted it to the John Lennon Songwriting Contest (well, we'll see).
Finally, you can listen to "Romance in Little Luna", which I find very difficult to describe. A humorous tune, with a Tex-Mex flavor, more harmony vocals (thank Digitech), combining a theme of romance with futuristic lifestyles. I like to think this is one which people can enjoy on several levels. I play lead guitar on all three of these, but I'm not talking virtuoso here, just something to fill in and make the music carry in general.
...As opposed to a track which doesn't appear here, "Tomorrow", for which I had (sigh) high hopes. Submitted it to Guitar World for inclusion in their latest sampler. Includes Paul Gordon, a local legend on lead guitar, and Florence Varale on vocals. I wouldn't mind letting you hear it gratis, but it's nine minutes long, and you'd just get frustrated waiting for it to download.
Other notable tracks on "Guitaro": "Dry Heaves", perhaps the song you listen to the morning after you listen to "Let's Go Get Stoned"; "All Around This World", a traditional tune which was popularized by the Grateful Dead, and which I did as heavier music; "Another Summer", which I finished recording in 1996, having started in 1971; "Cornerstone", which I might suspect is big in Europe, after sending some free sample CDs in that direction (and getting e-mail in French); "Arietta" by Franz Josef Haydn, a keyboard tune played with a synthesized guitar; and "Renaissance Man" which has tons of instruments again (clockwork percussion, electric and acoustic guitar, piano, brass).
Playing publicly? I've been thinking about trying to do some solo acoustic gigs at the Starbucks in Alhambra. Right now I'm kind of stuck in a mode of hypeing this MPEG-CD thing. Buy one. You'll think it's cool
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